Osip Emilevich Mandelstam
Osip Emilevich Mandelstam Poems
What Shall I Do With This Body They Gave Me
What shall I do with this body they gave me,
so much my own, so intimate with me?
For being alive, for the joy of calm breath,
tell me, who should I bless?
I am the flower, and the gardener as well,
and am not solitary, in earth’s cell.
My living warmth, exhaled, you can see,
on the clear glass of eternity.
A pattern set down,
until now, unknown.
A Flame Is In My Blood
A flame is in my blood
burning dry life, to the bone.
I do not sing of stone,
now, I sing of wood.
It is light and coarse:
made of a single spar,
the oak’s deep heart,
and the fisherman’s oar.